The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee sent a bill that would reform the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act to the floor today but Republicans said the vote delayed efforts to get a bipartisan bill passed.
The bill, which would expand the list of toxic chemicals regulated by federal agencies, has surprisingly strong bipartisan support in Idaho, according to a press release from Brian Cronin at 360 Strategies. Cronin, who decided not to run for reelection as a state representative, is representing a group called Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.
The Safe Chemicals Act would create a chemical management system that regulates potential hazards and provides stronger protections to human and environmental health. Supporters in Idaho include Rep. Janice McGeachin, R-Idaho Falls, Chair of the House Health & Welfare Committee), Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, Assistant Majority Leader, Sen. Mitch Toryanski, R-Boise, Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston, House Minority Leader, Rep. Cherie Buckner-Webb, D-Boise, and former Speaker of the House Bruce Newcomb.
Idaho Republican Sen. Mike Crapo has been one of the committee members working on bipartisan version of the bill. But Democrat's decision to take the bill to a vote before all of the changes were approved forced the party-line vote, said Crapo's communications director Lindsay Nothern.
A new report shows the toxics' role in the rising incidence of certain types of cancer, reproductive harm, infertility, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, learning disabilities, and asthma.
“Evidence that chemical exposures significantly contribute to disease and disability burdens in the United States is undeniable, strong, and continues to grow,” said Ted Schettler, science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network.
The new report also highlights the costs associated with exposures to toxic chemicals in children. Researchers conservatively estimated that the annual cost of environmentally-attributed diseases in American children was $76.6 billion per year, or 3.5% of U.S. health care costs, in 2008.